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Tuesday, March 14, 2017: Make health care universal, how society values women, cameras in the Bangor City Forest


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City forest cameras

A local station recently reported on multiple hidden cameras being installed in the Bangor City Forest to help stop the low-level vandalism of graffiti on signs in the forest.

During the summer 2015, people visiting the forest were returning to the parking lot to find their car windows smashed and items stolen. People got scared and some, especially those with children, stopped taking hikes.

Why use taxpayers’ money to install hidden cameras to catch people writing anti-Trump graffiti in the forest yet not to install one camera in a parking lot to catch car burglars? It makes no sense. There’s a glaring lack of logic in those decisions regarding this use of taxpayer money.

Karen Watson

Bangor

Make health care universal

I view health care as a basic human right. The idea that some insured Americans are willing to accept millions of people going uninsured just to keep their plans intact is selfish, immoral, dehumanizing and un-American.

I’ve had the opportunity to analyze the Affordable Care Act in depth and I argue that while this bill is far from perfect, it has significantly advanced human rights and has taken steps closer toward all Americans realizing health care as a right rather than a privilege.

It has extended coverage to roughly 22 million people, made substantial investments in reducing health care disparities, and reducing the inequalities that exist in the provision and access to health care disproportionately affecting people of color, low-income groups, women, children, older adults, individuals with special health care needs, and people living in rural and inner-city areas.

We ought to take a step toward universal health care rather than a step backward at the expense of the most vulnerable among us. We ought to really put America first and guarantee health care as a right for all people.

As a citizen and a proud provider of mental health services in the midcoast, I repudiate the most recent health care bill proposed by Congress. I stand with and for the community that I serve and I urge our elected officials to do the same. Making America great again must be measured by our compassion and wellness rather than our greed.

Nicholas Cullen

Swanville

How society values women

On Monday, Feb. 27, an ex-high school teacher was “sentenced to 364 days in jail, all of it suspended” after he had an inappropriate relationship with a female student. It was “the maximum allowed under the law, even though it is fully suspended.”

His victim must live and work to heal from this painful betrayal of trust, as well as having become the “target of rumor, speculation and bullying.”

On March 1, a federal appeals court ordered a Maine court to reconsider whether the Maine State Police violated a woman’s rights when, in July 2015, they informed a former boyfriend that she had accused him of sexual assault, ignoring her request that they not notify him. They left him a voicemail giving details, and violence ensued.

Also on March 1, a man and his two sons, who allegedly were stealing copper pipes, each face up to 10 years in prison for a series of burglaries in occupied homes and fines up to $20,000. They also could be ordered to pay restitution. If convicted of the burglaries in unoccupied homes the terms are reduced to fines of $5,000 and up to five years in prison.

No wonder women still march!

Debbie Dufton

Hampden

Poland Spring welcome to Penobscot region

The Penobscot River Valley has and continues to undergo significant economic and technological changes. The loss of mill manufacturing sites from Bucksport to Millinocket has affected employment opportunities, the tax base of communities, and consumer purchasing power.

As we develop strategies to “re-engineer” the region, the efforts require us to build upon our assets, identify growth from within, place value on skills sets, and identify techniques to reach the global marketplace with products and services, and recognize that the Maine brand has significant value.

Recently, I was pleased to attend, along with my colleagues at Eastern Maine Development Corporation and other community leaders the presentation at Husson University by Heather Printup and Tom Brennan of Poland Spring.

Poland Spring has a long and proud history in Maine — more than 170 years. The spring water from Poland Spring is renowned for its quality and is truly an iconic Maine brand. Poland Spring is the most popular bottled water brand in the Northeast, and the demand keeps growing.

This increased demand is good for our region. As we learned at Husson University, Poland Spring is currently looking for potential springs sites in the Penobscot River Valley. This type of development which is sustainable and provides good jobs will be a welcome addition to our local economies. We look forward to welcoming Poland Spring to this part of Maine.

Michael W. Aube

President

Eastern Maine Development Corporation

Bangor

Health care bill will hurt Maine

Why is Congress proposing to repeal and replacement Affordable Care Act without a Congressional Budget Office review that would make public the true costs of the repeal? Nearly 95,000 Mainers stand to lose health care coverage and protections if the Republicans repeal the Affordable Care Act, including thousands in the 2nd Congressional District, which Rep. Bruce Poliquin represents.

Don’t be fooled by Poliquin’s statement that the Republican replacement proposal will “ make sure insurance companies sell health insurance to everyone who wants it.” I want a house on the water, but I can’t buy it if I can’t afford it. He has opposed the ACA for years while offering no workable solution.

This bill is manifestly unworkable and will simply make the entire marketplace less predictable. Insurance companies will use this uncertainty to raise premiums. Nor can our elderly and disabled afford to be singled out and placed into high-risk pools with higher premiums. It’s not enough to offer insurance to everyone without ensuring that everyone can actually afford decent plans.

If Poliquin truly wanted to represent his constituents and not insurance companies and wealthy donors, he would insist on maintaining and improving the ACA. Instead, he approves letting insurance companies offer reduced coverage at higher rates, $475 million in rising costs for Maine hospitals and more tax breaks for the wealthy. People will die. Even Gov. Paul LePage thinks the bill is dead on delivery. What’s Poliquin’s real objective in supporting this bill?

Kendall Zeigler

Eastport

 


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